After dispersal of sit-ins, Morsi supporters attempt to continue protests

Ahram Online , Thursday 15 Aug 2013

Morsi supporters attempt to stage protests in various areas in Egypt's capital and governorates following dispersal of two sit-ins Wednesday

Morsi supporters attempted to protest in other areas of Egypt’s capital and governorates, hours after dispersing the pro-Morsi sit-ins in Giza’s Al-Nahda Square and Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square.

According to news reports, a small group of pro-Morsi protesters attempted to stage a sit-in at Alf Maskan in Cairo’s Heliopolis district late Wednesday. There were other protest attempts in Giza’s Haram Street and in Alexandria’s Smouha area, but their protests also fell short.

Morsi supporters attempted to stage a sit-in at Mostafa Mahmoud Square in Cairo’s Mohandessin district, but later moved to Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque after hours of clashes between them and the security forces on one side and with local residents on the other.

Pro-Morsi protesters in Arab Square in Cairo’s Maadi district ended their short sit-in, which began on Wednesday afternoon. According to eyewitnesses, their sit-in was dispersed by midnight.

The municipals have started to clean the aftermath left after Wednesday’s violent clashes.

Early on Thursday, angry Morsi supporters blocked Makram Ebed Street in Cairo’s Nasr City district from both sides before organising a rally that headed to Nasr City's police station, where they hurled rocks at the building. Pro-Morsi protesters also attempted to stage a sit-in at Makram Ebed Street near Al-Eman Mosque in Nasr City.

Al-Eman Mosque was turned into a field hospital as well as a place to host the dead bodies of Morsi supporters who were killed in the forcible dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in.

The latest official death toll announced by the health ministry stood at 578, with at least 4201 others injured.

In Alexandria, a group of Morsi supporters blocked the Corniche highway on Thursday.

In a press statement the Muslim Brotherhood announced that they planned to organise a march from Cairo’s Al-Eman Mosque on Thursday. The National Coalition to Support Legitimacy called on Egyptians to join evening prayers for those killed at the mosque.

A pro-Morsi rally made of a few thousand protesters moved from Al-Haram Street to Giza Square, chanting against the police and army. A group of those protesters stormed the Giza governorate headquarters and set fire to its second floor injuring tens. The fire was put out by fire fighters later.

Muslim Brotherhood sources told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that they planned to hold more rallies later on Thursday in several governorates, including Alexandria and Fayoum.

Earlier on Thursday, 84 Brotherhood members and their supporters in Suez were referred to a military prosecution on charges of murder and burning churches, Al-Ahram reported.

Political responses to recent violence

The cabinet held a meeting on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the dispersal of the sit-ins and the turmoil that followed. The cabinet also discussed the state of emergency that has been imposed for a month. Defence minister General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and interior minister Mahmoud Ibrahim attended the meeting.

Many of political parties and movements welcomed the dispersal of the two sit-ins. Some praised the interior ministry and at the same time criticised Morsi supporters for attacking Christian churches and shops in Upper Egypt.

Dozens of churches have been destroyed in several governorates in Egypt, especially in Upper Egypt, along with houses and shops owned by Christians.

Many political movements and parties, including the National Salvation Front, Rebel campaign (Tamarod) and Constitution Party have condemned the resignation of Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei from his post Wednesday evening.

The former head of the IAEA resigned from his position as vice president condemning the use of force to disperse Morsi supporters. ElBaradei added that there was still time for a political solution.

April 6 Youth Movement "Ahmed Maher Front" has also condemned the use of force to clear the sit-ins. The youth movement denounced the attacks on Christian churches in Upper Egypt in what they called "Black Wednesday" saying that the Egyptian blood become cheap, despite the great January revolution.

"The MB leading figures and the interim government preferred the bloody confrontation in order to achieve their goals. The regime wanted to enforce its rule and the Brotherhood wanted to use the blood of the victims for political gain," said the movement, adding that all parties agreed to choose violence over peaceful solutions.

The April 6 Youth Movement also condemned police station attacks in different Egyptian governorates.

"The only way to end the current crisis and to put the country on a democratic path is through a political solution that allows the goals of the [January 25] revolution to be achieved. The solution that was expressed by resigned vice president Mohamed ElBaradei," said the April 6 Youth Movement, adding that violence will lead in to more violence.

The Revolutionary Socialists also issued a statement condemning the forcible dispersal of Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda sit-ins. The group described the dispersal as "massacre prepared in advance," holding general Abdel Fattah El-Sisi responsible for the recent events.

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